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  • Manju Sadarangani


Updated: Feb 10, 2021



12" x 12"

Acrylic & Silver Leaf on Canvas (completed early September, 2020)

Anotha is unique, queer, odd, rare. We were working on a chakra series in Kundalini class. This piece came from mediations on the anahita, the heart chakra, the seat of love and compassion.

I think a common hurdle in our journey towards self-acceptance is that niggling feeling of not belonging, the isolation, the fish-out-of-water discomfort.

Meditating on this idea of a fish out of water, this tribal desire to fit in, I found myself drenched in a memory of being on a dow in Oman, wonderstruck by (a school of? A flock of?) flying fish. The feeling of being spellbound by these fast, silver, shimmering creatures, darting in and out of the water, taking flight, plunging deep. Suddenly, a fish slammed onto the deck, a foot from me, flapping, floundering, splashing my foot, and lo! She was gone. Darted into the air, and then, swish in the water.

The fish flew indeed, but nothing like a bird. She swayed like a shark, and glide like a bat. It is a moment I will never forget. I found myself smiling as I meditated on this memory. What a silly idea, a fish out of water. If an intrepid fish had not wiggled onto land eons ago, where would we be?

This painting came from alchemy. I have been mixing mica powder with pigment, playing with light and dark, matte and shimmer, opacity and translucence. I was fascinated with the way the extremes could live in harmony on canvas.

Here is to honoring the flying fish in your heart, the one who flies where she does not belong, the one who captivates, the one that gets stared at, the one that seems not to hear the taunts of queer, weird, odd. Here is to loving, truly, from deep in your heart, your shimmer, your shine, your edges. Here is to your ability to dive, and soar, and propel.

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